Time for some friday fun!
I really do love Poundland...
They stock cheap electronics that can be torn apart and turned into anything you can think of.
Right now they have loads of these solar powered bulbs, that are quite hackable.
First we can see that they have lots of lovely micro LEDs :)
But in the circuitry we can see a small IC called a 5252F, which takes the power from the solar cell (roughly 1.2V) and charges a small NiMH battery, but also boosts the power to 3V to power the LEDs.... By the way a great blog post on this IC here.
So this got me thinking...
Could I power a micro:bit from this? http://artists.scitoys.com/three_volts
I desoldered the LEDs from the board, observing their polarity with a multimeter before doing so!
Then I snipped a spare micro:bit AAA battery box and tinned the wires. Then I added fresh solder to the board and soldered the wires, observing the polarity again!
I then plugged in the micro:bit and went outside in the evening sun...
First test with crocodile clips...not a great test but it briefly worked
So here it is, a proof of concept!
Still to do
- Add a better battery so we have more time on battery.
- Add a better solar cell..or link a few more #pounderland units together :D